War is Hell...why not find a way to dig in faster?
It's a year into this horrible war, this Great War, and we're going nowhere fast. The western and eastern fronts have stabilized with no significant progress. Even the Italians joining the Entente have merely created a third static front. All sides have dug in, creating elaborate, labrinthine networks of trenches fronted by snarles of barbed wire, defended by machine guns, and backed by rapid-fire artilliery with airborne spotters.
And since we humans can never be satisfied with just any old Hell, scientists have created a lovely little thing called Mustard Gas which, despite its innoctuous name, is most adept at turning lungs into liquid and skin into sores.
Yes, friends, the glory of war! Live like a rat in a muddy hole while shrapnel and lead attempt to tear you to bits, struggling to get your gas mask on in time to avoid drowning in your own blood.
Thank God my nation has kept out of this insanity. With the recent sinking of the Luisitania by a German U-boat, however, that repreive might be short lived.
Yet, my friends at home, the strange resiliancy of humanity holds on even in the darkest of places. Bittersweet and mornfully hopeful music is pushing aside the patriotic tunes of last year. Take, for example, the melancholy "Somewhere in France, Dear Mother" by the amazing artist Stanley Kirkby, which captures both the fear of the trenches and the fears of those at home who may never see their loved ones again.
So, hold on, my dear listeners, and pray for an end to this increasingly pointless slaughter. Until then, heed John McCormack's advice and "Keep the Home Fires Burning (Till the Boys Come Home)".
Have a strong drink...you'll need it.
Gin & Bitters Cocktail (aka Pink Gin):
[image from chow.com]
Stir over ice, strain into a cocktail glass.